A Brief Understanding of Digital Photography
Introduction to digital photography
It is fair to say that everybody at some point would love to capture a moment and then re live it sometime in the future, digital photography has made this possible. Whether it be via a mobile phone, a tablet, a cheap digital camera or even a more expensive professional DSLR camera, everybody has taken a photo before. So what is so special about digital cameras? well you don’t have to know anything about shutter speed, exposure, aperture or even know what any of those mean, you can just simply look through the eye piece and click away and still find yourself not only taking amazing images but also capturing memories.
Surprisingly digital photography has been around for many years, in fact it dates back to as far as the 1950’s. The first big step in digital photography was in fact scanners; scanners as everyone should be aware of, don’t actually take photographs but instead copy an image that has already been taken. These scanners, first created in 1957 acknowledged the different intensities of light and shade in a photograph, once this was done the scanner then saved them as binary, i.e. digital, signal.
The next big step into the creation of the digital camera was in the early 70’s. As some historians may know in 1957 both the Americans and the Russians raced to send a satellite into space. The Russians won the race when they launched there satellite in 1957. After this it didn’t take long for the American and Russian governments to realize that if it was possible to launch a satellite into space then it was also possible to send a camera into space attached to a satellite to spy on their enemies . Unfortunately their problem was that if they sent a camera into space, they had no way of getting the camera back to earth to recover the film, of course digital cameras were the solution.
Following this idea of the digital camera, in 1973 an engineer working for Kodak worked to produce the first digital camera to be sent into space. This camera weighed in at approximately 8 pounds and it only had a poor 0.1 mega-pixels. Although this was only an experiment it truly was a digital camera.
How digital cameras work:
A digital camera is not much different from our eyes. A camera sees an object because of the light which is reflected off it and into the camera’s lens. The camera has a series of different lenses that focus the light to create an image, but rather than focusing this light onto a piece of film like old disposable cameras, a digital camera focuses the light onto a semiconductor that records light electronically. Once the image has been captured, rather than having to develop the photos like with old film cameras, a digital photograph can be put straight onto a computer and sent to family, friends and also be published online, you can even edit a digital photo and change different aspects of the photo for example, change how bright or dark the image is.
The truth behind the mega-pixel myth:
The said myth is that the more mega-pixels a digital camera has the better the quality of the final photo. Many of you may of heard this before, and many of you may even believe it. A megapixel is one million tiny dots in a photo. At first it seems believable that more megapixels would mean a sharper photo right? wrong. This is just a marketing scheme. Instead of giving you a sharper image a camera with a lot of mega pixels in fact can make your image look worse than a camera that is only 8 mega pixels especially in low light situations. This is because the sensor that contains all these pixels can actually become crowded, the pixels have to be smaller and smaller to cram more of them on the sensor. This gives the most problem with high ISO settings. The creators of these cameras know this but still proceed in making cameras with a higher and higher amount of mega-pixels because the general public think that more is better and the manufacturers can sell more cameras at a higher price.
In conclusion digital photography has had a huge impact on today society, it has opened more job opportunities and careers and also made them easier whether they be, professional fashion photographer, professional wedding photographer or even professional sports photographer. They are becoming more and more photographers all over the world all using digital cameras.